Let's start with a smile this week. Anyone who has spent hours trying to make convincing animal shadows with their hands, to keep their children/grandchildren amused, should appreciate this little bunny, contorting himself to make a hand shadow. I spotted him on the web this week and just had to share.
I have had a mixed week this week as my husband's sister finally lost a long, long battle with cancer. So this time it is my turn to stay here with the animals while he returns to UK for the funeral next Thursday. There are only two flights a week from this area so he will have to go on Tuesday and come back on the Saturday. Of course we are all really sad to lose this brave lady, but only for ourselves. For her, we are grateful that she is now at peace, and all the awful treatments are at an end. Our young families grew up together, so thanks for all the happy memories Mary. Here are a bunch of cousins, her three and our youngest three, all lined up on the swing seat in her garden, about 27 years ago.
As I told you last week, our final Cantante concert was stopped by a terrific storm. Well it turned out to not be our last one after all. This Tuesday we did an extra one which in many ways turned out to be the best one of all. One of our tenors has been unable to sing this season, again because of that horrible illness cancer. He is now in a nursing home in the village of Velez Rubio, and as he had been unable to even attend any of our concerts, we took one to him. It turned out to be a very big home for the elderly, but they seemed to be a mix of fairly healthy folk, and others who needed constant care. They were mostly Spanish, and they were so excited to see us.
They all came into the big communal dining room, and sat around, some in wheelchairs, some on comfy sofas, and some perched wherever they could. There were a few of their family visitors as well. We did a slightly shortened version of our Spanish programme, where there are still mostly songs in English, but also half a dozen in Spanish. They tapped their feet, and sang along to any they knew, and they absolutely loved it. We all made a point of hugging at least one of them after the concert, and I think most of us managed a few words with almost all of them. We are already booked to return and sing at Christmas. It is good to know we brought some real joy into their lives that afternoon.
It was about an hour's drive to get to the home, and once again rain was forecast. As we drove inland, and the road rose gradually higher and higher, we watched the clouds rolling down to meet us.
The sky got very dark, and soon the first big, penny sized drops, started to fall on the windscreen. But we arrived before it got too bad. (The line down the right side of this photo is because I took it through the car windscreen as my husband was driving).
It turned out to be just a 'storm in a tea-cup' and by the time we drove home the sky was a washed out blue again. This is a view of the lovely Cabrera mountains that we can see from our house, and whenever we drive home along the motorway.
The pink flowers behind the barrier are oleanders, and they are beautiful at this time of year. They are highly toxic to animals, and I have read that they are planted all along the central reservation of the autovia, to stop the deer and other wild animals from coming off the natural park areas onto the road for food. They instinctively know not to touch the oleanders.
This is something I will be doing quite a lot of for the next few weeks. The yellow cling peaches are in season, and they almost give them away in the market. They are edible raw, but not very exciting, but they cook beautifully. I usually halve them to remove the stones, and poach them in a little bit of lemonade, which provides the only sweetness they need.
They look like a pan of bright sunshine, and once cooked they make delicious pies and crumbles, or sliced and eaten cold they taste just the tinned ones we buy in UK.
We had a busy day on Monday when first our electrician friend Tony came, to fit the new combined ceiling fan and light in our main room. It makes such a difference to have a good light in there, especially when I want to knit or sew of an evening.
Just as he left, another friend, John, arrived to install
a new TV system. The first job was to move the big satellite dish from the side wall to round at the back of the house. This was quite difficult as the walkway at the back is only the width of the ladder, and after the railings there is a steep drop down into the green-zone. So John and Chris worked together to get the dish set up in its new position. Then the cable had to be fixed around the house, through the wall, and all around the sitting room. Finally the new satellite we are using had to be tracked, and everything set to continue to receive from it. They were finally done at 10.00 that night. So now we can once again watch 'live' TV with most of the main channels. It is much better than the previous system we tried which used the internet, as our supply in the village couldn't cope with it at peak times. We don't watch a lot of television, especially though the summer, but it is nice to know we can again, if we want to.
We are immensely proud of all our sons, and we do our best to keep up to date with all their news. This week, yesterday actually, was our oldest sons 43rd birthday. Isn't it strange how I can remember the day he was born as though it was yesterday, yet what I actually did yesterday is already lost in the mist of busy life! But here is son number one, with his lovely family.
Jim is a vicar near Wolverhampton, and I enjoy visiting his church whenever I am in the area. I was pleased to hear that the card I made for him, actually arrived on the right day. That doesn't happen very often!
While visiting a local DIY warehouse, that has a pet shop in one corner, I picked up a couple of cat-nip toys for Tango and the others to play with. He liked the crinkly bag and promptly laid down on it, but I guess it is too hot to be very playful these days, because he hasn't seemed to be particularly stimulated by the cat-nip to play any more.
His hair is beginning to grow back now, and it looks a bit piebald. I don't think he will be a true 'ginger', but it will be interesting to see how he turns out.
We had good news at the hospital yesterday. Apparently Chis will not need an operation for the time being, but they told him to lose 10Kg. Now that is a challenge!!
There are only ten days to go before our two grandsons and their lasses come out for a holiday, so there is some preparation to do, and lots to look forward to.